Tag Archives: Christian Dossel

Clear view on MR things needed…

One of the good things when blogging for a longer period of time is the fact that you – virtually – get to know a lot of people in your area of profession.

One of the bad things is, that if you keep on blogging about specific topics for let’s say more than three years, you will see the day, that somebody you love to follow and read stops blogging. Although there are a lot of reasons for someone to stop blogging, sometimes you wish to read more from some “fading blogs”.

However, sometimes it is valuabel to re-scan even those once loved “fading blogs”, search for the good postings, re-read it and see if and what has changed over tim.

Yesterday I re-found one of my all time favourite posts ever – from May 2010.

Obviously MR hasn’t died and is still alive, but some of Mr. Heretic, the blog owner, manifesto-style hypotheses are of course still dominating today’s MR-scene.

For example this one: “You killed market research when you defended the status quo.” To be honest, this is what we do every day, don’t we? And for some reasons this is okay. But what about innovations?

I very much agree to Katie’s view on active innovation. And MR has already talked a lot about innovation in 2012..

… but nearly exclusively to its clients :-)  
However, what about innovating the own industry?

Another example: “You killed market research when you mistook information for understanding”
To be honest, I got a little bit fed up with the term “insight” over the last years. If every piece of information, offered to me as an insight really was an insight, I would be a wise man today.

Mistaking information for understanding also leads to the fact that we mis-educate our professional young talent. They often use the word insight, not knowing the difference between information and understanding.

So even MR is still alive our MR-world is still complex.
One of the consequences: We need a clear view on things and talk with each other about  the requirements.

To get a clear view on the status quo regarding innovation and insighting (beyond lots of others) make sure that you join us at the The Market Research Event 2012, hosted by IIRUSA November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, FL. For more about this year’s program download the agenda.

———–
Today’s guest post is from Christian D??ssel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany helping clients from US and Asia to research Europe. He has worked for TNS, TBWA and other advertising, strategy and market research agencies helping clients from industries such as finance, transport and logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to understand consumers through market research and to increase implementation excellence. He will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’d like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Big Data ‘ different names for the same thing?

Okay, we
cannot avoid the truth. Obviously ‘Big Data’ is here to stay. 

For myself
I can say that I am by no means a Big Data expert. Large surveys with more than
3.000 participants still have the ability to impress me regarding the enormous amount
of data. Maybe I am ‘old school’ :-) 

Nevertheless
I am curious to learn more about ‘Big Data’. Doing so I recognized
a lot of well known things from the very beginning of my market research career.
Once upon a
time I was working for a German telecommunication company. That was the time
when mobile phones were primarily used for calling and messaging and smartphones
haven’t been invented yet.
Big brands were
called Nokia, Siemens and Sony Ericsson and not Apple and Samsung’ However, for
each of the more than 20 million customers every minute calling, every message,
every megabyte of data was recorded, primarily to bill the right amount of money
(flatrates were an exception, mainly offered to and used by business customers). There has been ‘Big Data’ 10 – 15 years ago. 
Similar to
now, one of the big challenges in this time was to find solutions of getting
use out of the huge amount of data that has been growing minute by minute,
hour by hour, day by day’ 
Why? Because
there was (and there still is) a need to understand consumers’ behavior in
order to serve the right customer with the right offer at the right time’ An increase
in efficiency regarding campaign management was the order of the day, especially
in times when the market has got more and more saturated. So analytical CRM came
into play and was fueled by Data Mining.
We did a lot of interesting project combining
records from the data warehouse with market research results in order to
predict behavior. This was a challenge not only because of data protection
laws.
I really
like the word ‘Data Mining’ because to me it bears some fine connotations such
as ‘craftsmanship’ and ‘working hero’.  In my perspective the attractiveness of Data Mining declines during the past 10
years, but neither I know exactly if this is true nor understand why the
perception has changed.
Now we are having
not only big data but ‘Real Big Data’. I am pretty sure that ‘Data Mining’
already has experienced a revival because of what is now called Big Data. And again
I am by no means expert for this.
Maybe you are as curious as I. Let’s learn
more about Big Data at TMRE via the ‘Data Analytics and BIG Data’ sessions (and
maybe about the “rebirth of Data Mining’.

———–

Today’s guest post is from Christian D??ssel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany helping clients from US and Asia to research Europe.
He has worked for TNS, TBWA and other advertising, strategy and market
research agencies helping clients from industries such as finance,
transport and logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to
understand consumers through market research and to increase
implementation excellence. He will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’d like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Market Research Appreciation Society

In Germany we have a lot of “days”, of course not more  than 365 a year, but definitely some of them for specific purpose. We celebrate re-unification on 3rd October, we celebrate Easter and Christmas. And sometime we have the “Tag der Marktforschung” (“market research day” which was June 16 this year)…

Originally this was implemented to inform and educate the general public about the “What” an “Why” of market research. They try to show people that market research is not about cold calling, that we are not a gang of ruthless people disturbing people with cold calling in order to sell something. Yes, we take data protection serious. Those kind of events want to bring market research to live.

picture taken from:  http://bit.ly/USlCLg 

Basically I think it is a very good idea to do so. In times when response rates for participation in market research survey drop significantly we definitely need participants’ willingness to participate in our research programmes, regardless if this is a focus group, panel survey, IDI, car clinic or online research community.  And we have to make our plans of what we will do with the collected data as clear and transparent as possible.

So all in all I very much appreciate the efforts that have been done by colleagues all over the nation.

However, I’m wondering if they got their audience right. Wouldn’t it be good (or even better) to have a “market research day” for our clients? If so, how could it look like?

Here’s my take…

Exchange
I think it would be good idea to have a deep and intense change of perceptions. What are the requirements? What can we improve to be better service providers, research consultants change agents, etc. And what can buyers of market research improve in order help us understanding their needs?

Learn
Let’s learn from each other, not only when it comes to methodologies. We should share our different views
on the topics of consumer understanding and bring together our different point
of views. And personally I’m very keen on learning more about how clients use
our work in order to get things done.

Inspire
Sometimes I’m disapointed to see
that only very little of our work obviously found the way in clients’ organizations. But sometims I’m really impressed by the power research can have, when it is used in an inspiring and creative way. In my dreams this would really the key asset of a “market research appreciation society”…

Do you want to be part of the market research appreciation society? Or do you look for a “market research day” either for clients or for professionals? Make sure that you join us at the The Market Research Event 2012, hosted by IIRUSA November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, FL. For more about this year’s program download the agenda.

———–
Today’s guest post is from Christian D??ssel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany helping clients from US and Asia to research Europe. He has worked for TNS, TBWA and other advertising, strategy and market research agencies helping clients from industries such as finance, transport and logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to understand consumers through market research and to increase implementation excellence. He will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’d like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Content that does a good job on Facebook ‘ do we really need every piece of research?

Last month a study conducted for Germany, Austria and Switzerland caught my eye that I thought was interesting. It says that it deals with the revealing of one of the most kept secrets in social media marketing ‘content that does a good job on Facebook’.

I was very excited and after more than 15 years of experience in market research and marketing I cannot stop hoping that on-demand free reports include real insights. As you might have already foreseen, I was disappointed about  the depth of results (and I consciously avoid the term ‘insights’ here).

Nothing to worry about too much, I said to myself.  However, the feelings of disappointment has not disappeared and I found myself thinking about why this is the case. And then I took another look at the study.

100 Facebook fan pages from retail and consumer brands with overall 2.334 Facebook postings were analyzed over a time period of 4 weeks (don’t ask me, how they selected the fan pages…).  The average number of Facebook Fans per page was 112.000 and the average number of posting within the four weeks was 23,24 per page. So far, so good…

The authors introduce the study’s main metric: ‘viral spread of postings’ (calculated as the sum of likes, shares and comments divided by the number of fans). Following their hypotheses the content with a higher ‘viral spread’ is better than content with lower ‘viral spread’.  So they began to compare different criteria of Facebook fan page postings in regards to ‘viral spread’.

 Please allow to do some cherry picking

  1. 1) Companies that post less often achieve significantly higher levels of viral spread
  2. 2) The best values of viral spread are obtained in the morning and after work
  3. 3) On Sundays, the highest values for viral spread are obtained
  4. 4) Postings of more than 3 lines achieve lower values of viral spread
  5. 5) Using images leads to a significantly increase of approximately 69% higher value for viral spread, but postings with videos achieve significantly lower values for viral spread
  6. 6) The direct address of the user by asking questions does not lead to significantly higher value of viral spread. Similar to that direct calls to action only lead to a less than 10% higher value of viral spread which is statistically not significant
  7. 7) Emotionality causes a significantly higher value of viral spread

What I understand is that in order to be shared, content on Facebook must be:

  • -    Interesting
  • -    Not annoying
  • -    Emotional
  • -    Entertaining
  • -    Not taking too much time to consume
  • -    Displayed at the right moment

To be honest, this is well known and true for every advertising and every message, since years’ So why should it be different for social media content? Or for market research reports and presentations?

Beside the fact that it is always good to confirm common knowledge from time to time, reading through this study has another positive effect.

If it is true that simplicity of massages increase the likeability to share this message by 92%,
that concreteness and being on spot increases likeability by 56%,
that emotionality increases likeability to share by 64%…
 
What does this mean for our reporting in market research? A lot of space to improve…

Maybe that’s the most important “insight” from this study.

Make sure that you join us at the The Market Research Event 2012, hosted by IIRUSA November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, FL. For more about this year’s program download the agenda.

———–
Today’s guest post is from Christian D??ssel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany. He has worked for TNS, TBWA and other advertising, strategy and market research agencies helping clients from industries such as finance, transport and logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to understand consumers through market research and to increase implementation excellence. He will be live blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’d like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Don’t throw away half of your market research effort

Two months ago the advertising agency Grabarz & Partner said good bye to their client EDEKA (Germany’s largest food retailer) who had decided to chose one of Grabarz’s competitors for further brand development and marketing activities.

While this has happened quite often in the history of brands and agencies, Grabarz & Partner have placed an ad in a German marketing magazine to appropriately finish more than seven years of award winning creative work with the client. The title of the ad: ‘How to create a brand ‘ a 15 step guide’.

Personally I think this is a good thing to do, but step 5 I found worrying. It says: ‘Replace 50% of your market research effort by common sense’, suggesting that market research ‘

a) has limited ability to support creating a brand

b) is – by stating the obvious much too often – not revealing enough brand insights.

Depending on the perspective, this is either the truth or another act of MR-bashing.

Regardless of the reader judging step 5 to be right or wrong, the message itself gains importance for our industry because it was published in a marketing magazine (and widely shared and discussed throughout the social web). And readers of marketing magazines usually are part of MR clients.

Maybe we should think about reputation of our MR industry and how to improve…

First of all teaming up and seeking allies in the form of advertising agencies is key. There should be more joint approaches between our professions in order to level up consumer understanding and consequential brand and marketing programs.

Furthermore we should begin to think about public relation activities for market research. For many years ‘ and maybe this is a local challenge in Germany ‘ PR has only existed in order to promote new tools but not to position market research as an insight-partner. Insights are more interesting than methodological details so we shouldn’t hide behind our tools. To marketing MR to other industries like brand consulting or advertising in order to get a greater share of voice, means more than press releases about new methodologies. 

Requirements in these times are changing rapidly, that’s right. But one thing is key: we will have to think more from the perspective of users of insights to leveraging research, assessing methodology and challenging ourselves and our research. By improving our ability to change the perspective we will be much more able to demonstrate the strategic and actionable possibilities and values of market research.

And maybe the next ad about ‘How to create a brand’ will replace step 5 by ‘work with your market research colleagues in close cooperation on real brand insights’

Make sure that you join us at the The Market Research Event 2012, hosted by IIRUSA November 12-14, 2012 in Boca Raton, FL. For more about this
year’s program download the agenda.

———–
Today’s guest post is from Christian D??ssel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany. He
has worked for TNS, TBWA and other advertising, strategy and market research
agencies helping clients from industries such as finance, transport and
logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to understand consumers through
market research and to increase implementation excellence. He will be live
blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’d like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Why refusing social media research is a risk

A recently published press release by Gartner on “communication by social media” made me think about market research and its positioning opportunities in the future.

The prediction that within the next two years ‘responding to inquiries via social
media channels will be the new minimum level of response expected’
also has
implications for our industry, regardless of whether this will come true 1:1 or
not. As critical communication between consumers and brands on social media
channels is growing, these channels will gain significance for market research
purposes.

Although we all perceive an increase in methodologies and approaches embracing changes in communications behavior among consumers (MROCs, Big Data Analysis, Social Media Analysis to name a few) most of qualitative and quantitative methods used today
are traditional.

If social media communication will extend to the amount predicted,
this probably will have to change.

If refusing communication via social media is risky for brands, what about refusing social media research?

For marketing, finding the right way of responding to consumers’ social engagement obviously is a challenge. The learning curve of those who do so is still very steep and a lot of effort comes from learning by doing. The same is true for market
research. So all we will have to do is to keep on probing around and learning from
our experience?

Maybe this is not as easy as it looks like’ 

Historically, we think in products and MR-services from most of the vendors come along as products (with a lot of ‘TM’-extensions). This is not suitable
for social media research anymore due to tremendously fast change of technology
and behavior. Maybe it is good to use a product for customer satisfaction
measurement, but for social media research? I am not sure… Whenever somebody is
turning up with a finished social media research product I would be skeptical’

Furthermore we try to focus too much on tools, that we know from former times. Mainly quantitative (but also qualitative) research should notice that the social media world is moving on and traditional online research – especially the kind that is still using forms and questionnaires of face to face research – has to be replaced by more innovative approaches.

Maybe it is a good idea to learn from each other in order to benefit from each other’s experience with the new MR toolkit. And I know a
good place to do so.

Join us this fall at The Market Research Event 2012 in Boca Raton, Florida. For more about this
year’s program and ‘The New MR Tolkit’-session, download the agenda.

———–
Today’s guest post is from Christian D??ssel (@olympiamilano). Christian is Senior Research Director at MM-Eye, a market research and research consulting firm in Hamburg / Germany. He
has worked for TNS, TBWA and other advertising, strategy and market research
agencies helping clients from industries such as finance, transport and
logistics, telecommunication and entertainment to understand consumers through
market research and to increase implementation excellence. He will be live
blogging from The Market Research Event 2012 this November 12-14 in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’d like to join him, register today and mention code TMRE12BLOG to save 15% off the standard rate!

Live from TMRE: Day 3 – what a day wth Intel, Disney, YouTube and Microsoft BING (and CIA)…

Could there
be another TMRE day tomorrow? Should there be one? Hmm, I think we all have to
go back to work and do interesting research stuff and thinking.

But I will bring
a lot of interesting thoughts back with me to Germany. I saw a lot of
interesting sessions and talked to a lot of interesting people (some which I
only knew from Twitter). But before I’ll have to leave I would like to share my
thoughts on this third day of TMRE.
I started
the day with the two keynotes, ‘Why Bad Behaviour Is Good Politics by Bruce
Bueno’
He started with some interesting sentences:
‘Earthquakes
are deadlier in Iran or China than Chile, Honduras or Italy’
‘All of the
world’s top universities are in democracies’
‘Iraq
exported baby formula and food in the 90s while over 500.000 of its children
died needlessly from malnutrition and disease’
Then
another quiz:
You want
job security? Huge income? The need to do want you want? Everyone should praise
you? Looking for perfect job privacy balance? Become a dictator! :-)
Bruce
drilled it down to five rules, applicable for all organizations (families,
charities, companies etc.)
1. To be a
successful dictator rely only on as few people as possible, only use a small
coalition of supporters
2. Get a small
‘coalition’ of people and drawn them from a large pool of people, the larger
the better. It is important that they know that they can be are easily
replaced.
3. Tax max! Get
out of customers as much as possible.
4. Pay your
coalition just enough so they don’t think to switch to the other side. But don’t
pay more than that.  If you pay them too
much, they are able to gain wealth and spend the money and at the end fights
you.
5. Don’t
waste money on improving the lives of the people you rule. They aren’t
important because you don’t benefit from them at all
Very charismatic
speech, but I didn’t really get the connection to market research, promise to
think harder :-)
The second
one was Jeremy Gutsche, founder of Trendhunter.com, again a very engaging
presentation. You could see that he is a ‘man for the stage’.
He was all
about two different trends in recent times:
1. The
supremacy of culture
2. The tragic
return of gut instinct (which we don’t like that much ;-) )
He pointed
out that market research used to be driven by product. But that isn’t hitting
the nail anymore. It’s about experience. Most of the companies sell products,
but consumers buy experiences (see Harley Davidson).

So, to his
point of view, we are hunting for the cool stuff, because cool stuff is unique,
cutting edge, viral, the next big thing’ So you’ll have to create a culture!

Great case
study about littering. See the answer from the research and the execution from
ad agency and goolge for ‘Don’t mess with Texas’. Here is the link.  
Most
important notes for me: Create a connection to the research! Or connect the
research to an experience!

 Then I went
to some cool sessions. YouTube, Disney, BING, Intel’
Good stuff: 
Sundar Doraj-Raj from Google showed how to measure the impact of advertising. They
have instream ads, overlays, banner / rich media and promoted videos (yes, they
belong to google)
And YouTube
is incredibly growing. 3 billion views a day, 48 hours of videos uploaded every
day’ Why is this important? It is, because they earn money with this. 2 billion
monetized views every week.

So they did
some experimental designs and found out that instream ads (those that are
running prior to the video you choose) are most disturbing the users. Not
surprising at all, because they stop you from doing what you want. This is
getting slightly better when the instream ad is skippable, but this kind of
advertising remains one of the most critical issues in terms of usage and
visiting YouTube.  But be sure they will react
on this.
I also
heard some inspiring words about culture in a creative organization from Yoni
Karpfen, Consumer Research Club Penguin (Disney
). It was very impressive to see
how children aged 6 to 12 deal with daily politics in a playful way (like 9/11,
breast cancer day or Japan tragedy).
But this
kind of product need perpetual creative development and the question is how to
do this and what to develop next? Yoni led us through their research process
which delivers a highly creative experience. They listen to the players, live
and breathe the experience. And they have a huge community support team which
is connected to the users anytime.
They are trying
to make research free or cheap instead of expensive, fast instead of slow, friendly
instead of controversial, trustworthy instead of questionable, tailored to the
audience instead of complicated and cool & fun instead of boring. And of
course they have to in order to fuel the creative network and their core
business’

How?
Inspiration meets information, creative has to be compatible to operational.
Empathy is the key, and that itself refers to culture. 
Microsoft /
Bing
is measuring social network conversation and WoM to understand how Gen Y
is talking about their brand to get more emotional connection insights of
Generation Y. They better do, because 10.1% of Gen Y visits MSN.com on a
monthly basis. So MSN and Bing’s target for 2011 has been Gen Y for all their
media spend & targeting. It is a little bit confusing, because Lise Nicole
Brende told us that the Bing research team mainly consists of Gen X
researchers. So how can Gen X researchers deep dive into the habits and rituals
of Gen Y (but this is another story’).
They moved
their attention towards so called Connected Socialiszers (Facebook centric) which
produce 47% of all BING searches. In former time they focused on Information
Seekers (responsible for 20% of BING searches).

We heard a
lot about Gen Y then, taken from the Cassandra Report, and how BING tries to
adopt these findings. They constantly try to get in touch with this optimistic,
control demanding, group oriented and sometimes overwhelmed and stressed Gen Y.
One of the key assets BING has is Gen Y trend seeker panel, providing feedback to
them, a very interesting and valuable source.
Last but
not least I attended the session by Intel about Experience Driven Innovation.
It was again very interesting and presented on a high level.  Tony Salvador was pointing out that Intel is looking
for long term evolution trends to use for corporate development. He said that
experience that is based on data is future. It delivers new ways of business,
new way of making money, new ways of interacting. And he left us with 5 take
aways:
- Exchange
drives markets
- Many
markets are comprised of people
- People have
values and they seek value
- Organized
complexity is right there
- Cultural
values in Flux drive Expertise
I have to
say good-bye for now. See you later! Don’t forget to follow me on twitter
@olympiamilano :-)
Btw, for
more check out the gorgeous twitter hashtag #TMRE

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here.
After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market
research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director
at 
MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.

Live from TMRE 2011: Learnings from Coca Cola, Henkel, Mars Pet Care and 3M

Yes of course, putting famous brands in the headline always is a good
idea… But today I learned how to choose… ;-)
The second day of this year’s The Market Research Event is nearly over and
I have to say it was very inspiring as well as educational to a certain extent.
Everything started with the keynote sessions and a session I had really
looked forward to: “The Art of Choosing” by the impressive Sheena
Iyengar.

“Be choosy about choosing” was the summary of it all. But before
coming to this final recommendation she was takling about one of the most
relevant problem in everyday life consumption of any goods. How do people
choose and how could choosing be simplified. If you are more familiar
with  “the narrowing down problem” by Fidelity research or the
“3 by 3 rule” by McKinsey, you know what Sheena was talking
about. 
In her own words she was talking about the “jam problem”. She
showed some of her experiments and one was about jam. Draeger’s Grocery Store
for instance has a huge variety of options to choose between all kinds of
products, besides others 348 different kinds of jams. The question is, is it
useful to have that large variety of options? To test this in the experiment
she tested two stands, one with 6 jams and one with 24 jams. At the booth wit
24 jams 60% stopped, at the both with 6 jams 40% stopped. But only 3% bought
something at the 24 jam stand and 30% bought something at the 6 jam
stand.  So it was more than 6 times more likely to buy jam if 6 jams were
offered than 24 jams. The number of choices is attracting but the choice itself
is much more difficult. 
In another experiment people were asked to choose chocolate, one group out
of 6 pieces and another out of 30. At the end they could rather have money or
chocolate for incentive. Chocolate choosen from the 30 piece deck was perceived
as less delicious and people tend to take the money more often than the
product.
This leads to three different negative consequences for brands and
products:
1. Commitment – The
number of choices weakens the commitment toward the choice anyway, even if it
is important to consumers
2 Decision quality – The more
choices they have, the lower the perceived quality of the decision
3 Satisfaction – The more
choices they have, the less satisfied they are with their choice they made
But why is this?
We have cognitive limitations, the modern world is designed for experts who
knows how to skip suboptimal options.
Options are more and more indistinguishable. Differences are to small but
variety is often seen as a competitve advantage, no matter how small the
differences are. 
And there is more pressure to choose anyway. Because we aspire to be unique
(but not extraordinary). And our choices express our personality. We think:
“If I choose this what does this say about who I am and what I want and
how does the choice reflect on what I want and who I am…”
So it is all about offering a better choosing experience!
And there are three techniques to deliver this:
1. cut – retailer ALDI ist probably the best example to express what sheena
means with “cut”
2. categorize – look at Best Sellers and they categorization of wine to get
an idea what’s behind this
3. condition – start easy with complex choices and slightly increase
complexity within the process of choice
The next one was a good experience. I was sitting at the bloggers’ desk and
was glad to have a seat. 
The room was crowded, first time at TMRE in the session I attended. Diane
Hessan and Stan Sthanunatahn were there to talk about Market Researchers in the
21st century. Amazing, they only showed one chart, and this was the title ;-)
So it was more an interview than a track session, but very interesting to
hear a big company’s perspective on the future needs of our industry. Want to
read some quotes? Here you are:
“Market research is the best profession in the world, because it is at
the heart of every important decision”
“But the best
profession is also boring, because parts of the jobs are boring. Processes are
designed to be boring”
“Challenge is inspiring
people. Be a change agent.”
“Surveys may not always
be the truth, and why would you tell the truth to a complete stranger?”
“What makes Coke so
successful? Not just the tv commercials, but the “strong community
connections” 
“brand health can’t be
developed in a month, why measure it on a monthly base?”
“Synthesize your findings
into an informed dream of the future”
“Take the familiar and
make it unfamiliar. Convey facts in a different way to inspire”
  
Nothing to add at this point
:-) 
Then I attended a session from the Marketing & Brand Insight
track and one from the Activating Insights track. 
Ann Bearth was talking about 3M and the efforts they made by reactivating
the brand. Quite interesting to see what barriers to overcome internally and
how to roll out a real huge internal and external survey. One of the most
interesting findings to my point of view was the fact that younger employees of
3M are more engaged in the brand, for customers the opposite is true.
And that brand activation can be ensured by sharing the stories of the
companies and their brands, internally and externally.
Henkel also found a great internal experience to bring insights to life.
They decided to have an internal live event in order to let the consumer speak
and to show the employees their work in order to use their power and ideas to
develop new ways of increasing usage of the prodcts the compay sells. All in
all it was an intense experience for them.
But Heiko Sch??fer also pointed out waht you have to keep in mind when doing
this kind of internal event. Some very valuable pieces of advise:
- Identify important business topics
- Set and track the event against clear objectives and KPIs
- Plan ahead and don’t underestimate the time and effort required
- New skills are required
- Make it big
- Engage your audience
- Make it fun
But don’t stop at the end of a one-shot. Make it a process and show your
skills.
Be out in front and lead. 
This indeed was an encouraged speech about the current and future role of
market research in companies and for agencies.
Personally I have to say TMRE doesn’t mean “too much really enough

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here.
After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market
research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director
at 
MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches.

Live from TMRE 2011: Great first day at TMRE

After an 11 hour long lasting but still comfortable flight on Sunday from Hamburg, Germany
I arrived safely and in good conditions in Orlando, Florida. As I learned today
‘ more about this later ‘ Sunday is NFL day, so I went to a nice sports bar and
watched some American Football. Very nice experience’
Today I was
curious and excited to see The Market Research Event started at The Peabody in
Orlando.
So I went quite early to get my registration
done and to join the first session from the Ad & Media Research track: ‘How
US Consumers’ Ethic Identity Influences Media & Purchase Habits’
.
I picked
that one because I was hoping to hear some interesting thought both on
methodology and results. And both presenters from Yahoo!, Lauren Weinberg and
Edwin Wong did a great job with their presentation.
But what was it about?
They showed
us a number of fact based recommendations how to do appropriate multi cultural marketing.
This is
important to a number of different companies and brands (and also Yahoo!) because
the purchase power of different ethnicities is huge and still rising. They
report an overall purchase volume of the four most relevant ethnicities
(African America, Asian / Pasific, Hispanic / Latino and Caucasian) of 2.5
billion dollars.
To gain a
larger share of this purchase power
it is important to understand how ethnicity
impacts preferences and how marketing can be as authentic as possible for this
targets.
To find
appropriate answers to this Yahoo! conducted a huge survey, consisting of
expert interviews, online communities, focus groups and quantitative elements.
It is always nice to see that a client sees the need to do market research. And
it is even nicer if this research isn’t conducted for the sake of doing
research. But it must have been a hard fight to set the budget free needed for
this scale of survey’
Anyway, I learned
a lot about the meaning of ethnicity to the groups, with very special area of
identification (e.g. music, food, gender roles, appearance, celebrating
holidays, language and even the family name). And it differs depending on the
ethnicity you are trying to talk to.
If you look
at the Caucasian-focused advertising out there it is not surprising that the ethnicities
feel underrepresented. But they feel much more underrepresented in traditional
media than in online media (e.g. 72% of the Hispanic feel underrepresented in
traditional media and only 39% in online media). 
My explanation would be that it
is much more easier to find yourself represented in the diversity of the www
than in 30 seconds TV commercials. And again the drivers of preferences are
strongly driven by the ethnicity.
In order to overcome this issue authentic
marketing has to face a basic paradox: On the one hand ethnicities have a
strong wish that the ethnic diversity (which they feel to be a part of and
which they see as representative for the US society and the real world) is
shown. On the other hand they are seeking for well targeted ads in order to
deliver a stronger ‘for-me-ness’ and to be represented in a better way. So
authentic marketing has to kill two birds with one stone: mainstream versus
uniqueness.
This is not
easy. And this is a risk.
 
This is why 66% of the Asian ethnicity say that the
can’t think of any brand, that perform well (Hispanic 42%, African American
51%). 
It is most
important to avoid stereotypes. And these again are ethnicity-specific. Aisans
don’t want to see the nerdy asian guy or somebody who is unable to attract
women. Huge families and Mariachi with Sombreros is forbidden if you want to
sell into the Hispanic ethnicity. And don’t show African Americans in a
commercial together with alcohol and tobacco and avoid Hip Hop and dancing. 
The true
understanding is the basis for success, execution is nuanced. Saying this, to
my point of view a strong need for pre-testing, co-creation or crowd sourcing
is identified. This is, because if you are doing it in the right way success
can be seen in trust, purchase and last but not least activated word-of-mouth,
offline and online. And here is a TV commercial shown by the presenters a best practice. 

Enjoy!
The
next session I attended was some sort of childhood memories. It was about a
multi platform approach for Sesame Workshop by Diane Polvere and James
William-Ness
.

I have learned that not only my favorite characters from
Sesame Street have improved their style (the equipment of Super-Grobi ‘ his
German name ‘ is amazing) and some of them were new to me, but also
requirements of research improved. James
pointed out that 2005 there were 6 channels where you could get in contact with
Sesame content, 2011 they have 21 channels. 

No wonder
that they need to know a lot of different things about their audience: unique
audience, total audience, device interaction and sources of engagement, just to
name a few. TV is still
key, but gaming devices, audio, web, mobile, podcasts and other devices are
emerging and covering a relevant art of channel preferences in the pre-school target
group.
After a huge
secondary analysis they decided to conduct a huge quantitative study with 2.000
children aged under 8 years. That gave them the opportunity to drill down
contact clusters on iTunes, podcasts, amazon etc. as well as important results
for future purchase of newer devices in order to spotlight trends. 
Together
with existing data from Nielsen, comScore and so on they were able to build a
model and bridging the custom data with these common sources.
It was
quite interesting that they found a way to develop a multiplatform model to say
that over 50 million are in contact to Sesame content. This is an important
number for their revenue model (what I didn’t realize is that Sesame workshop
is a non-profit organization) in order to give value to their reach. 
And of
course ‘ like in every huge surveys ‘ there are a number of other interesting results.
Just to name two of them. TV is still number one and key to deliver a first
experience of Sesame content. But Online and Mobile is important to engage and enhance
frequency of usage.
And I found
myself belonging to the ‘Digital Dads’ which bring a new gatekeeper segment to
the responsible people at Sesame workshop. They usually stick to the ‘sesame
moms’ (described as mothers, who interact with their children and Sesame content
on TV and web). But ‘Digital Dads’ bring Sesame content with Apps on iPads,
Smartphones and Podcast to their kids. 
Interesting.
Something not completely different but important
in a broader sense was presented by Dr. Timothy de Waal Malefy from BBDOs Cultural
Discoveries
. It was all
about rituals and how brands could benefit from this. He pointed out that
rituals are nothing new for humans, but for most of the brands. 
The basis for
exploring rituals is to look at people. Because consumers use brands to suit
their needs and to share their experiences with others. So there is a huge
opportunity to learn from the customers in order to identify rituals and make
them work for brands. A brand’s benefits can be (among others) to give guidance
for a meaningful live to customers. 
But it is
not easy to find the ritual, because there are a lot of requirements that needs
to me fulfilled before you can call it a ritual. Generally speaking a ritual is
a fixed sequence of behaviors that transform us from one state to another,
emotionally or physically or both.
It is a powerful
motivating experience and develops strong loyalties (best practice: the ritual
of weddings
). Rituals operate in a clear framework and are highly sensorial,
memorable and pleasurable. 
Timothy
compared rituals with habits, while habits are single and functional tasks, do
not transform a brand benefit and require low or no conscious effort. 
The
distinction between the two concepts is clear, but it stayed theoretical to me
unless he said that the ritual is ‘the journey’ and the habit is ‘the destination’.
This again is true for wedding, although some people regard a wedding as a
habit or other like this ritual so much that they want to have it again and
again :-)
But basically
it makes a lot of sense to look at rituals in this way. Timothy showed a lot of
research and advertising for ‘The art of shaving’ and he mentioned the ritual
of making your own coffee. 
First of all I
was thinking about rituals as some sort of elitist’s doing in order to differentiate from others, because
rituals show knowledge and express mastery. But and the end and by answering
questions from the auditorium Timothy pointed out that even this is mostly the
case and rituals is not for every brand, there are some examples for rituals in
mass market. Barbie vs. American Girl Doll, Build a bear or even the ritual of
Hispanics in the US starting to drink wine are good examples for this.
Next session was about women, apparel and the
NFL
. Alicia Z. Ranking presented backgrounds, process and results for a
re-positioning of NFL Womens’ apparel (and the success of it). 
 

Although I am
more into soccer I could understand most of the
things that were said. It is important to make good offers for women, because
445 of NFL fans are female and they are nearly 8 hours a week engaged with NFL.
Even more important is the fact that they spend $ 315 million on NFL apparel.
I like Alicia’s
descriptions of the former approach to make a good offer to women. It is called
‘shrinking & pinking’ and says that they took the men’s apparel, shrinked
it and made it pink.
The basis
for improving this was a huge online research with some face-to-face
components. And they build a segmentation on this survey, which revealed a lot
of shopper insights such as affinity to NFL apparel and purchase behavior as
well as attitudes and insights for product development.
One of the
key findings, which they used for developing the campaign, is that women pay
more attention towards fashion related items of NFL apparel and men basically want
to show their team affinity. And they also found out, that the female core target
consists of active and family-oriented women, aged 20-39 years.
So they
decided to create awareness for NFL women’s apparel by leveraging a health and
fitness performance that fits with the target’s fashion style and lifestyle. In
addition they wanted to feature women as NFL fans, which they achieved by
featuring real NFL women (I forgot their names. If this were soccer ladies I
would probably remember :-) ). But look at this:
They did a
lot more to support this campaign (events, microsite, contests, cause-related
etc.). And the business increased by 40% and 75% were aware of redesigned
product line
. Even the campaign was a huge success, 70% recall overall and 63%
recall brand related. 
To my point
of view this is a good example for having success when you have your business objectives
clear and stick to a limited number of relevant results but keeping these at
the spearhead of your marketing activities.
After this
I attended the Social Media & Communities track to hear Nick Mysore talking
about ‘Trend Spotting with Social Media to Grow Your Business’.
He introduced
his speech by focusing on using social media for strategy (and therefore for
business) and so (I thought) he would go one step further than saying that
listening to consumer on Facebook etc. is important. 
He had a
lot of numbers (very good and convincing ones) to support the fact that social
media is here to stay, and that is becoming more and more important for
marketing. I really liked the style of presentation, very entertaining and very
convincing. But for my personal scope there wasn’t much to learn than good
examples to show people that social media is important. 
Anyway, it
is important to listen and it is important to learn how to listen from these
how do it well (like US Gov. for instance). And it is also important to connect
the listening with the strategy. Therefore Nick recommends focusing on themes.
As an opposite of ‘a shotgun approach’ he mentioned that of course a selection
of themes is of course a risk (to choose the wrong ones). But otherwise complexity
is too big and it is impossible to deep dive into themes and to deliver
results. To create such patterns depends on the strategy and you must be brave enough
(or your internal or external clients) to take the risks of social media.
Social media is less reliable. But it is more penetrating and honest response. 
This leads
to the daily practice that social media is not replacing anything. But it is simple
to track and must be simple to implement into marketing (controlling).
The last
track I attended was about Celebrity and Engagement in a DVR world by TiVo.
Most of the time I saw impressive spots. And I learned that the spending in TV
ads are worthwhile, despite the fact that 54% of all primetime TV is
time-shifted. 
This
relates to former results 5-10 years ago, where it was revealed that is
important to keep the engagement high within the audience in order to keep
their attention for TV advertising. This is the same now, even if the forward
advertising. Let’s take Mad Men as an example.
This Suave ad was
shown and people who forwarded advertising thought the film would continue. 
Or
let’s have a look at snickers and Superbowl:
People are
repeating this spot, because it supports the feeling of the sports. 
The same
for X-factor and Pepsi:
Different name for the same things…
All in all it
was a very exiting day. 
Looking forward to tomorrow and more hot market
research stuff. 

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here.
After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market
research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director
at 
MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches

Low level of social media connection and social media spirit for Germany’s MR industry

Recently Q ‘Agentur f??r Forschung and linkfluence released an inventory of the German market research network. You can access the interactive dataviz here (which is highly recommended).

What can we learn from the results?

Well, first of all we learn, that the internet network of market research in Germany not yet developed and divided into two parts.


First of all there are traditional market research players (left side) that exist on the internet mainly isolated and ‘for themselves’.

And then there’s the networked side of the industry (right side). Here you find blogs and social network presences of agencies or individuals who produce (also) market research related content (including my German blogs Olympiamilano and FOYER for dedicated market research).

The degree of linkage between the two sides is rather weak and limited to a few connection points. Although the market research industry as a whole picks up momentum in the social media world social media agencies and specialized player are very active and much stronger located in social media than “classic market research”.

In addition, you can see that the German market research blogosphere is relatively small and personal. While in other communities the content is mainly delivered by bloggers and they discourse on issues play a central role, the market research blogging scene is very ‘manageable’. You probably won’t find open discussion on market research topics currently in the market research web. It therefore can be considered rather a Web 1.0 experience than Web 2.0. The German market research web is not dominated by user generated content or active exchange, but mostly by news, press releases or articles.

One could assume that the German market researchers have moved to a presence in social networks like Twitter and Facebook. But this is not the case. Here, too, German market researchers are very cautious and reserved. There are only a few active presences and little more intense exchange. #mr-Buzz is limited to a few activists. Public discourse or even public controversies are rare.

Explanations are easily found:
1. Traditional understanding of “secret”: news from the fields of techniques, methods, products or results are ‘ from the inside perspective ‘ highly confidential information that cannot be made available to the public under any circumstances
2. As long as the fear of lifting industrial secrets is that large, the exchanged and visible information thus is superficial and unsatisfactory. Exchange doesn’t exist.
3. Open and honest opinions and provocative theses are only very seldom to be found in the German MR-network. One of the main reasons for this is the perceived fear of negative consequences caused by the employer. The dominant opinion that it is not appropriate as an employee of a reputable company or a reputable agency to set up a provocative thesis on the future of market research or even comment this. Finally, you have to stand behind your corporate philosophy
4. Another explanation for the fact that almost nobody actively participates in knowledge sharing across the web 2.0 lies in the fact that they don’t receive any instruction from the management level for this. There is rather the attitude “I can take without giving”.

So no wonder that awareness and interest from outside the industry for the subject of market research is sometimes low. This is quite a shame as that here is an opportunity missed to directly interact with clients and customers and to design the role of market research more active.

Social media, networking and market research be on the agenda in Orlando, Florida at The Market Research Event 2011 , hosted by IIRUSA. Looking forward to having interesting chats about this.

About the author: Christian D??ssel is blogging about market research in German language here and here. After having worked for TNS, TBWA and other strategy and market research agencies he now holds the position of Senior Research Director at MM-Eye in Hamburg / Germany with special responsibilities for MM-Eye’s new media and online research approaches